Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Supporters Dinner - Slow Food International Congress

Time has gotten away from me, and I realize that I haven't posted about my Supporters Dinner that I held for the many people who supported me in going to Slow Food's International Congress - Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto. I was so blessed to have Amanda Roelle, come in all the way from Italy to help me pull of this meal.  Ok, ok... she didn't come in specifically to help me, but what are the chances that I had scheduled this meal featuring what I learned in Italy at the exact same time she had a job here in the States!  I mean she was the one who told me about Terra Madre in the first place!  Life continues to blow me away!  To see the presentation I gave about my experience at the Conference please go to this link. I would love to talk to you about this experience if you are interested.

Ok to the dinner. I really tried to use as much local ingredients as possible, really highlighting what our area has to offer. If it's not a local ingredient then some of the ingredients were brought in from Italy.

The first two photos are me prepping for the L’ouvo en Raviolo (I learned this recipe in the Theatro del Gusto "Theater of Taste") It is homemade pasta, with a whole egg yolk in the middle with a beet green ricotta filling.

The table settings

The coffee bean decoration was from Les's Roastery, Deeper Roots Coffee, where we were having the dinner. The rosemary was from our garden. All of the table settings were from our wedding at Gorman Heritage Farm including the burlap coffee bag table runners (sewed by my mother - thank you, thank you!).
Some of the supporters were:
Sandra and mike Murphy
Denise and Mike Eck
Dennis and Lyda Stoneham
Amanda Roelle
Les Stoneham
Sue and John Clark
Cynthia and Fred Bullard
Jim and Flo Ullrich
and many many more!!
Thank you!!

This was the Cincinnati dinner. Soon I will be doing my Tennessee dinner for my supporters in Tennessee. Don't worry it's still coming!

Because I used so many of the egg yolks for the raviolo I had a bunch of egg whites. What do I make with egg whites? A TON of meringues. My mom use to make these for us every Christmas season. They were and continue to be some of my favorite cookies!
The day couldn't have been any nicer. Temperature was perfect, and the freshly picked flowers from Gorman Heritage Farm just hit the spot.


Whole Wheat Bread
whole wheat flour - Carriage House Farm, Lebanon, OH

Olive Oil with Salt
olive oil - Puglia, Italy (our friend, Amanda’s, land)
salt - Slow Food Presidia - Morocco (from Terra Madre)

Paisano Oregano and Tomato Cheese
My Artisano Foods, Cincinnati, OH

Desert of Egypt (from Terra Madre)

Krause’s at Findlay Market

I forgot to take a photo of this course, but this is a picture of the ones I made in Italy during the session "Cooking without Waste – It’s raining Rissoles"


Risolles with Garlic Basil Aioli

beef/eggs/potatoes/basil flowers - Gorman Heritage Farm
Egyptian walking onion/herbs/garlic - our backyard

The beautiful Amanda, serving our tasty Third Course.


Fresh Green Salad with Apple Honey Vinaigrette

lettuce, honey, arugula, oven roasted cherry tomatoes, radishes -
Gorman Heritage Farm
kale, arugula, purslane, zucchini, garlic - our backyard
apple peels (used in vinaigrette) -  local farm at Madison’s Market at Findlay Market
Olive Oil - Puglia, Italy (our friend, Amanda’s, land)

This is what the finished product of the first two images became.


L’ouvo en Raviolo

eggs, beet greens,  - Gorman Heritage Farm
kale, sage - our backyard
ricotta, parmesian-reggiano, butter - Krause’s at Findlay Market

This dessert I didn't learn from Terra Madre. It's a Scandinavian dessert. So so tasty!


Ginger Apples with a Lemon Creme topped with dark chocolate and meringues

ginger, apples, lemon - Madison’s Market at Findlay Market
chocolate - Dean’s Mediterranean at Findlay Market
eggs - Gorman Heritage Farm
heavy cream - Snowville Creamery, OH

If you can't tell this was a spectacular night. It went off without a hitch thanks to all my help from Les and Amanda. The company was beautiful and great conversation!  Thank you thank you!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What you get when both Les and I have a whole day without working

This weekend was so relaxing and wonderful. We finally got a break in this terribly cold winter. To celebrate we decided to cook some really really delicious food! I didn't use a recipe for these, so these amounts might not be perfect. Use your best judgement and taste, taste, taste.  The first thing we made was:

Scallops with Beluga Lentils and a Cranberry Gastrique

Beluga Lentils:

  • 1 cup beluga lentils (they look like beluga caviar)
  • water
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion, small dice
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot and add diced onions. Heat until golden and add garlic. 
  2. Add beluga lentils, salt, and pepper to taste and stir until the lentils are coated with oil.  Add enough water to cover the lentils by 1 inch.
  3. Bring to a boil. Add sundried tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
  4. Take out the sundried tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 more minutes until the lentils are tender.

Cranberry Gastrique:

  • 1 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
  • little less than 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp ground fresh ginger
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat a small sauce pan and add all ingredients. Simmer vigorously for about 25 minute. Taste and add more ginger if necessary.
  2. Strain the liquid from the cranberries. Set aside and also save the cranberries.


I bought frozen scallops from Whole Foods because I got a coupon for $2 off, but for the record. I don't recommend buying them from Whole Foods. There was a lot of sand in them. I wasn't happy with how these turned out. I need to make scallops again to make these better.
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 scallops
  • salt/pepper to taste
  1. Pat dry scallops and lightly salt and pepper. Heat pan on medium high heat. Add butter and olive oil.  Once the pan is hot add the scallops. Cook about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on each side. It should have a golden look on each side. I didn't get the pan hot enough and I didn't pat the scallops dry enough.
The next day, I didn't want to waste anything so with the left over cranberries that were drained from the gastrique, I decided to make a chutney for a delicious appetizer. We also had a lot of the beluga lentils and cranberry gastrique left over, so we added to those and made a second meal...

Cranberry Chutney on Creamy Cheese and a Fresh Sourdough Crisp

Cranberry Chutney

  • Cranberry mixture left over from Cranberry gastrique
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, small dice
  • 1/4 onion, small dice
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Heat pan on medium heat and add 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add dice onions, apples, and salt to taste Cook until golden. 
  3. Add 1 tsbp white vinegar and cook for about 1 minute
  4. Add onions and apple to the cranberries mixture and process in a food processor until jam consistency. 
  5. Cut sourdough pieces and place a good creamy cheese like brie on the sourdough slice. We used a cheese that was on special at Silverglades at Findlay Market. I can't remember what the cheese was, but wow it was so good!
  6. Add chutney to the top of the cheesy crisp. 
  7. Enjoy!

Baked Butternut Squash and Apples with Beluga Lentils, Cranberries Gastrique, and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Butternut Squash and Apples

  • 1 butternut squash, small dice (from my garden last fall)
  • 1/2 granny smith apple
  • 1/4 large onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Mix together all ingredients and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. 
  3. Bake for 15 minutes then raise temperature to 400˚F and bake for 15 more minutes.

 Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

  • 1/2 lb Asparagus
  • 6 pieces of bacon (from Gorman Heritage Farm)
  • olive oil
  1. Cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces
  2. wrap 4 pieces of asparagus with a slice of bacon.
  3. Sprinkle with olive oil and bake at 400˚F for 15 minutes.
Les and I felt inspired and wanted to practice with food styling. You know real fine dining. This is how ours turned out. I would say a job well done!!